Have You Got The Right Personality To Be A Pub Landlord?

pub landlord, run a pub, pub tenancy
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:00

‘Great pub, shame about the landlord!’ How many times have you heard that from friends or family telling you about a pub they’ve visited? Not everyone is suited to being a pub landlord. It is, after all, a very special job and just as someone who hates heights could not be a mountaineer, so pub landlords need to have the type of personality that will ensure their success.

We’ve shared before in our blog some of the essential characteristics that make a great pub landlord, in this post we’re looking at the reasons some people aren’t so well suited. If you’re wondering whether running a pub is for you, read this list of personality traits that we avoid!

Hopefully you will be able to confirm that you are not one of these people and instead have the right personality to run a pub. If that’s the case why not speak to our team today about how to get your first pub tenancy? You can request a call back here.

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be A Pub Landlord

#1: Dislikes Other People

There are pub landlords who actually dislike people; you may have come across them! They don’t like serving people and they don’t like having to make conversation. It is surprising how many ‘would be’ pub landlords don’t consider the number of people they will be encountering during opening hours.  A pub attracts all kinds of people.  Not all will be pleasant. Some may even be offensive. They may not share your views on subjects such as politics, religion and the planning application going through on the house over the road. They may dress in a way you do not like. They may be noisy and impatient. They may even complain about your pub and the way you run it. 

Dealing with all these different types of people takes someone with patience and diplomacy. Visitors to a pub quickly recognise when they are welcome or unwelcome. When visitors feel unwelcome they tell others, and the number of people visiting the pub steadily decline – as do sales! 

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: We need a ‘people-person’, someone who likes working with other people, understands that people come from all walks of life, and is a friendly and open regardless of who walks through the door.

#2: Not A Social Butterfly

If you’re a bit of a shy and retiring type you may find running a pub takes you out of your comfort zone. While you don’t have to be the life and soul of the party, you must be confident in your abilities to make small talk and socialise with a range of people.

After all, pubs are by their very nature part of the community. A pub is a gathering place, somewhere where people come to socialise and meet people. Communities like to hold events in pubs, and the pub landlord is often asked to take part in them. Also the people visiting a pub can vary from night to night, with complete strangers turning up wanting to chew fat with the landlord over a pint at the bar.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: First impressions do count and so when we meet prospective landlords we are looking for people who are quick to say hello and start a conversation. You don’t need to be a larger than life personality, but it helps to be confident and sociable.

#3: A Poor Delegator

Some people want to organize everything. The only person they trust to ensure everything is done properly is themselves, and so they will not delegate tasks to other people.  Throughout the day they run around taking on every role, micro managing every aspect of the business.

This is a way to burn yourself out as a pub landlord.  You cannot be everywhere in a pub.  Staff have to be trusted to do their jobs.  Pub landlords who cannot delegate simply exhaust themselves, and begin to hate what they do.  There is a lot of work involved in running a pub; no one person can do everything. 

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: It helps if you have had experience managing other people in your previous jobs, for example if you’ve been a pub manager you would have supervised other staff. If you haven’t had practical experience of delegating jobs to others, it’s something you can learn.

#4: Not A Connoisseur Of Beer

Beer is crucial to a pub. You don’t actually have to be a ‘connoisseur’, but you do need to have an appreciation. Many of your customers will actively be seeking out particular beers, especially if you have guest beers available and will expect the landlord and bar staff to know something about them. If you haven’t got any interest in learning about beer, and talking about it with customers, becoming a pub landlord is probably not the best option for you.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: Someone who is prepared to become knowledgeable and enthusiastic about our beers, and be able to recommend and discuss beer and other drinks with their customers.

#5: Susceptible To Alcohol Problems

Conversely, the other extreme of not liking beer is that some people like it (and other alcoholic drinks) a bit too much. A pub landlord who drinks too much damages his own health and ultimately the welfare of the pub. The temptation to have just one more drink can overcome their ability to run a pub, to deal with all the management issues and affects customer service. No customer wants to come into a pub where the landlord is drunk.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: People who have a healthy respect for alcohol and appreciate that having the keys to a pub is a responsible job, professionally and personally.

#6: Likes Being Tucked Up In Bed Early

Some of us are night owls and others are larks. With time being called around 11pm, although many pubs have extended licencing hours, you need to be able to cope with a late night. It’s not just locking the door behind the last customer either; you and your staff will need to clean up afterwards, bottle up and get the pub ready for opening the following day. You may also find it hard to unwind afterwards, while everyone else has gone to bed you may need some time to wind down just as anyone working more conventional hours would do.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: We won’t be able to tell if you’re a night owl or not, so we’ll have to trust you on that one, but we are looking for people who appreciate that running a pub sits outside of normal working hours.

#7: Not Keen On Hard Work

Some people think that opening a pub is a recipe for an easy life. They have visions of themselves pulling a few pints, relaxing with customers and living it up.  The fact is that pubs are very hard work. Moving heavy barrels and lifting cases of soft drinks, bottles or food, and connecting up the barrels to the pumps is not lightweight work. On top of that you’re on your feet for much of the day, whether that’s pulling pints, serving food, clearing tables and general running around. Out of opening hours there are plenty of other jobs to keep you occupied; paperwork, marketing, accounts, orders etc.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: We need people who understand that they need to put the work in to make their pub a success. In return they get a great standard of living and a good work-life balance for the right person. Running a pub is definitely a lifestyle choice and it’s not for everyone.

#8: Not Good At Keeping Up Appearances!

Just as you expect a pub to be nicely presented, clean and tidy, most customers also expect the pub landlord to look presentable. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie, but if you think running a pub will give you the opportunity to throw on your scruffiest clothes and forgo basic personal hygiene, think again! This includes the way you conduct yourself in front of staff or customers too. Being loud, argumentative, or saying outrageous things might go down well when you’re out with your friends, but will alienate customers if you allow that side of your personality to shine through.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: Our landlords need to understand that they and their staff are the face of their business. This doesn’t mean we want everyone to be the same, our pubs have different characters and so do our landlords, but successful landlords dress to impress!

#9: Has A Bit Of Temper

If you know that you can be a bit touchy and often fly off the handle at the slightest things, running a pub is not for you. It can be a stressful job, people may deliberately try to provoke you, customers who have had a bit too much to drink can be very annoying, and managing staff and all the other variables are demanding. Losing your temper is never going to be good for business; difficult situations escalate, customers are put off, staff leave and your pub gets an unwelcome reputation.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: We need landlords who are confident in their abilities to deal with people or tricky situations in a calm and steady way: people who can keep a cool head under pressure.

#10: Doesn’t Like Change

Pubs are constantly evolving. To be successful pub landlords have to be open to new ideas, new concepts and try different things.  A landlord who dislikes change will experience problems.  In order to keep bringing customers through the door, landlords have to be prepared to innovate, to think up promotional ideas, to be involved in the community and respond to their customers’ needs.

What we’re looking for in our pub landlords: While you may have a vision of your perfect pub and a business model to match, we need landlords who are also flexible. This doesn’t mean you have to throw away your ideas; the job of the Pub Partners team is to find the right pub for the right landlord. But it does mean being prepared to make changes when there’s a good business case to.

So, are you what we’re looking for? If you’re confident that none of the negative personality traits above apply to you, we would love to hear from you!